Saturday, 17 May 2014

X20: Birmingham - Stratford-upon-Avon

The X20 links England's vibrant second city with the birthplace of the world's most famous playwright in history. What's more, it travels along roads that William Shakespeare himself would have used to visit Henley-in-Arden and points further north. It runs every hour Mon-Sat daytimes, with a less frequent service on Sundays and it is operated by Johnson's Excelbus. Click here to discover other bus routes throughout the Midlands.

Places served:


The X20 starts from stop MS7 on Carrs Lane round the back of Marks & Spencer in the City Centre, but we don't have a picture of it as Google last photographed Birmingham before the City Centre's bus stops were all moved and reorganised. See a map of all bus stops in Central Birmingham here. The next stop after that is MS16 on Moor Street Queensway, then it's stop PA3 on Park Street opposite Selfridges:

Here are some ideas of things to see and do in Brum:


The X20 runs limited stop through the inner city suburbs of Birmingham, but does call at stop SF outside Farooq Travels on Stratford Road in Sparkbrook on its way to Stratford:

Towards Birmingham, it uses stop SM outside Aldi:


Buses towards Stratford stop here, outside the Mighty Q Discount Store on Stratford Road:

Buses back towards Birmingham stop over the road outside Midland Textiles:

Hall Green

Buses towards Stratford use stops HA and HD on Stratford Road. This is stop HA outside Hall Green Railway Station:

Buses towards Birmingham use stops HE and HH. Here's stop HH near the railway station and right next to Wickes DIY store:


Buses towards Stratford use stops SB, SE and SF. This is stop SB, opposite the Saracen's Head pub:

Buses towards Birmingham use stops SG and SH. This is stop SH outside Photo Factory with the Saracen's Head in the background:

Hockley Heath

Buses to Stratford use this stop at The Wharf, which is the last stop in the West Midlands, so nBus and nNetwork tickets are not valid beyond here:

Buses to Birminghan stop over the road outside Swimming Pools Ltd:

If you're peckish by this point, there's a Miller & Carter Steakhouse nearby.


We're now in Warwickshire. The X20 towards Stratford stops outside the Shakespeare Hospice shop on High Street, near the Three Tuns pub:

Buses towards Birmingham stop over the road, outside HSBC:

If you stop to explore Henley, you might want to visit the following:

Wootton Wawen

Buses to Stratford stop here on Stratford Road, opposite the General Store:

Buses towards Birmingham stop over the road. The General Store is in the background:


The X20 runs through the village on the A3400, serving these stops near the railway station. Buses to Stratford stop on the right, buses to Birmingham on the left:

If you fancy a bite to eat or a drink in a country pub, the Golden Cross is nearby.


Buses towards Birmingham use stops B on Wood Street and D on Bridge Street. This is stop B outside the pasty shop:

There is of course no shortage of things to see and do in Shakespeare's birthplace. Explore these links for some ideas:


See the timetable on Johnson's Excelbus's website.

Here are links to live schedule departure times from major stops towards Stratford-upon-Avon:

...and back towards Birmingham:


The highest priced adult day return ticket on route X20 is £6. More fares info can be found here.

Network West Midlands' range of multi-operator tickets, such as the 1 day nBus at £4.30, are valid on the X20 between Birmingham and Hockley Heath, The Wharf only. They are not valid for travel to Henley-in-Arden nor to Stratford-upon-Avon.

Plusbus tickets bought with rail tickets to/from certain stations in the West Midlands are valid on the X20 between Birmingham and Hockley Heath, The Wharf only. They are not valid for travel to Henley-in-Arden nor to Stratford-upon-Avon.


See maps of all bus services in Birmingham here. These are some of the major routes and destinations from the City Centre:

You can also catch Midland Metro trams towards Wolverhampton.

Hall Green is the place to change for Birmingham's circular 11A/11C routes, operated by National Express.

Shirley is where you need to change for buses towards Longbridge or Solihull. Timetables for any bus route in the West Midlands can be found here. See a map of all bus routes in the Borough of Solihull, which includes Shirley, here.

At Hockley Heath, change for Diamond S3 to Dorridge and Solihull.

See a map and list of all bus routes in Stratford-upon-Avon here. These are the major routes and destinations:

The X20 passes near to the following railway stations:

Map of rail services to the south and east of Birmingham


Frequent buses run between Central Birmingham and Shirley on National Express route 6.

For the rest of the route, the only alternative to the X20 is the rail service operated by London Midland. An adult off-peak (travel after 0900 weekdays, anytime at weekends) return between Birmingham and Stratford-upon-Avon is £7.40 but can be as little as £5.90 if you book on London Midland's website. Check other fares here.

All of the information in this post is correct at the time of writing, but please check the relevant links before travelling.


  1. Three things to add: -

    1. Johnsons often use double deckers on the X20, giving excellent views across the South Warwickshire countryside.

    2. Connections at Stratford: also Johnsons 21 and 22 to Moreton-in-Marsh via Chipping Campden and Broadway - a main route into the Cotswolds.

    3 Tickets: also, a Johnsons Day Ticket is available from drivers, price £8.00, and valid on all its services.

  2. Hi Justin, thanks for the extra tips! Johnson's don't mention their day ticket on their website, so it's good to know about it.

  3. What are the times of the x20 on bank holiday Sunday from Stratford between 1pm and 3pm to Birmingham.

  4. This route has been curtailed to Shirley Station and renumbered to service 20.